House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday to resign over his handling of the southern border migrant crisis — or potentially face an impeachment inquiry when Republicans take control of the House next year .
“His actions produced the great wave of illegal immigration in history,” McCarthy said at a news conference in El Paso, Texas, during a tour of the southern border. “That is why I am today calling on the secretary to resign.”
“He cannot and must not stay in this position,” he said. “If Secretary Mayorkas does not resign, House Republicans will investigate every order, every action and every failure to determine if we can open an impeachment inquiry.”
McCarthy said he spoke to Reps. Jim Jordan and James Comer, the top Republicans on the Judiciary and Oversight Committees, respectively, and said they had his full support in investigating the “collapse” of the border.
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“The American public deserves more, deserves better and expects more in their government. Enough is enough. We will do whatever it takes,” he said.
McCarthy was leading a delegation to the southern border in El Paso, Texas, days after Republicans won a majority in the upcoming Congress in the House of Representatives. Ahead of that press conference, McCarthy told Fox News that if he becomes a speaker, he plans to hold congressional hearings on the border physically on the border, a move he says will force Democrats to see firsthand. hand the ongoing border crisis.
A growing number of Republicans have called for the removal of Mayorkas for his handling of the border crisis, which has hammered the border since the start of 2021. There have been more than 1.7 million migrant encounters during the fiscal year 2021 and more than 2.3 million in fiscal year 2022. FY2023 is not shaping up to bring much relief to overwhelmed border communities, with more than 230,000 migrant encounters in October – the number the highest for October in years. During that time, there was a daily average of more than 2,500 “getaways” passing Border Patrol agents.
“I’m going to come down, sit with Border Patrol agents, have firsthand knowledge of what’s going on today because I don’t trust what Secretary Mayorkas said to the nation,” he said. McCarthy before the trip.
Republicans have taken direct aim at Mayorkas as the focal point of the Biden administration’s leadership on the crisis. The secretary has angered Republicans by repeatedly claiming the border is “secure” because his agency has also claimed the border is “closed.”
Republicans have accused the administration of fueling the crisis by rolling back Trump-era border policies, such as the stay-in-Mexico policy, as well as reducing domestic law enforcement. House Republicans in July published a plan to find out how they would secure the border, which included reinstating policies such as the Stay in Mexico Policy that kept migrants in Mexico while their immigration applications were processed.
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The Biden administration has blamed the crisis on a combination of root causes such as violence, poverty and climate change in Central America, as well as the Trump administration’s abolition of legal avenues. He touted his efforts to crack down on smuggling operations, including more than 5,000 arrests in a recent operation, while also working with other countries on solutions. Recently, he announced cooperation with Mexico that provides for the return of Venezuelan nationals under Title 42, as well as the establishment of new checkpoints to stop migration north.
However, this extension of Title 42 will end next month after a federal judge declared the ordinance illegal and ordered it removed. Mayorkas said there is a plan to deal with the end of the order, including greater use of other methods of eviction, in response to concerns that the end of Title 42 could lead to a more large number of migrants entering the United States.
During the hearings last week, Mayorkas said that the whole hemisphere is hit by a migration crisis.
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“The entire hemisphere is suffering from a migration crisis. We are seeing an unprecedented movement of people from one country to another. It is not limited to the southern border,” he told lawmakers during of a hearing in the Senate.
DHS was recently hit by a mini leadership crisis when Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus resigned after being told by Mayorkas that he should resign or be fired.
Meanwhile, Tuesday, the The White House postponed against McCarthy’s trip to the border and, despite the framework released by Republicans in July, claimed that Republicans had no plan to resolve the crisis.
“McCarthy has no plan. The Republican Party has no plan. They are just playing political stunts,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.